The Christmas season is such an exciting time of year, but don’t you wish that instead of the busyness and constant rush to make as many special memories with your families as possible, that there was also a calmness? More time to celebrate what matters? Time to just soak in the cozy fires with a warm apple cider? We want that for ourselves, and for you too!!
Here are some goals our family is working towards this holiday season that we hope help you to enjoy a slower pace as well:
#1 – SPEND LESS
We live in a generation that spends too much. If you enjoy buying gifts, you may have experienced that feeling on Christmas Eve when you are wrapping your presents and you realize that you bought way too much or, maybe it isn’t until after the present coma on Christmas morning and you look around the room at the piles of gifts and wrapping paper. WHY do us parents need to spend hundreds of dollars on new toys that are pushed aside a week later?
I have to agree with an article I read in the Huffington Post stating “[Christmas] brings about this hypnotic advertising that makes people develop a sudden amnesia as to the state of their bank accounts and the economic climate”
Because there is access to so many amazing things out there that our friends and family will love, we will buy it so we can see that joy on their faces. I feel like I’m so old when I say this, but “back in the day” when I was a kid, it was such a special thing to get the doll that I really wanted, now kids expect the doll, along with the play crib, the clothes, along with a new $400 game system they asked Santa for, and parents are searching all over town to buy it because Santa can’t let them down! Even if the business has done well, that is all the more reason for us to show self-control and teach our kids that they don’t need to have many presents to make them happy.
I’ve heard that a great rule of thumb for Christmas gifts is to stick to a toy that they love, a clothing item and a book. I know- it sounds hard, doesn’t it?
Christmas doesn’t mean we make an exception to give our family and friends everything on their wish list! Does your husband really need a $500 Apple watch? Of course not (sorry Matt).
#2 – BE EFFICIENT
I am not a good decision maker. I could spend hours searching the mall for things and not being able to decide what to buy. Here are some tips that have helped me with the holidays that have saved me hours of time and reduced stress:
- Have a list of who you are buying for and what you plan to get them
- Shop online as much as you can
- Stock up once and bring the same type of food dish to all of your holiday parties (chips and chili dip for everyone!)
- Have wrapping parties with friends
#3 – Do LESS
What on Earth did we bring to Christmas parties before Pinterest was around? I like what Kevin Leman said and I’m paraphrasing: “My advice to all Super Moms (and dads) is to lower that high-jump bar of life and quit whipping yourself to always set a new record. We are always trying to reach for “super”, but by sometimes reaching for “satisfactory” we will greatly reduce stress and also increase your overall effectiveness and well-being.”
Do you feel like you are on a hamster wheel at Christmas, running from Christmas light tours to parties, to church services, to Christmas activities….. All of these things are great, but we need to prioritize which are most important and that may mean saying “no” to other great things.
#4 – GIVE
When we spend less and do less, we have more time and resources to give to others. This is something I want to do better at and really hit home with our kids this year. I often catch myself in the excuse of being too busy, but I want to make it a priority for myself and my family to set aside time to bless others. Maybe it is a simple gesture like making cookies for a family or collecting coats for the homeless. It doesn’t have to be complicated.
#5 – REST
As entrepreneurs, we wear many hats. MANY hats! Take some time over the holidays to step away from work and relax. Enjoy time with the ones you love. If you are like me, it takes a lot for me to shift out of my stressful work mode and allow myself to relax. Don’t be afraid to turn that “out of office notification” on in your email and take a vacation from work. Get yourself a good book or a new series on Netflix and cozy up by the fire. Also, allow yourself to step away from the Santa Claus chaos and focus on the things that matter…the treasures that will not fade away!
When you look back at the Christmas season this year? What do you want it to look like? I’m dreaming of playing board games with my family, reading a good book by the tree’s sparkling lights and celebrating the real reason of Christmas.